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Traditions and modern times

The past and present life of Haskovo is associated with the names of many prominent artists, who, along with thousands of its citizens have created the free spirit and unique atmosphere of the city. The historical museum, art galleries, community centers and regional library have preserved the cultural achievements of many generations. The Drama and Puppet Theatre, the  Artists Club, the     symphonic, brass and  folk orchestras, the folk dance ensembles, choirs- they all create the variegated palette of cultural institutions and rich cultural offer of Haskovo.

In April each year National Competition for  Literature Debut "Southern Spring" becomes the venue in Haskovo for young and talented writers in the field of poetry, prose, literary criticism and film scripts. These literary festivals have maintained their spiritual territory and provide opportunities for the young Bulgarian literature to take its first steps.

National Folk Festival "Lovely Thrace Sings and Dances" for more than 40 years has been taking place on the open stages in the park "Kenana" in May.  Amateur folk groups and individual performers of original folklore participate in the festival. Thousands of spectators watch with interest these magnificent expressions of folk wisdom and dance rhythms which captivate with their authenticity and diversity.

The fairly recent National Festival of Chamber Dance is held in May in Haskovo. In June the city hosts the National Competition of the popular hit songs of the old times "Singing Ari's songs" In the same month the theater celebrations  are held, when street and parks, Renaissance houses and leisure facilities become the open stages for performances of the leading national and foreign theater groups.

The Days of Music  event "Prof. Nedyalka Simeonova "bears the name of the distinguished Bulgarian violinist, born more than 100 years in Haskovo. The virtuoso musician left permanent traces in the Bulgarian and world music. Along with the musical days, a competition for young violinists is held. With their talented performances, the Bulgarian and foreign young violinists reveal the beauty of music and present memorable moments to the audience.

For centuries, the days around the 8th of  September, the day if the Birth of the Holy Mother  are holidays for the city. From 1993, with a decision of the City Council, September 8th  was proclaimed the  day of Haskovo. The week around this date is the culmination of cultural events in the city. Celebrating the Feast of Haskovo, the town becomes the center of numerous cultural and sporting events, formal and artistic meetings, business meetings, conferences and more. The days of Haskovo present an opportunity to see the achievements of all ensembles, groups and clubs of the city, presenting their skills in the field of folklore, modern ballet, singing and dancing.


The Drama Theatre “Ivan Dimov”

The beginning of theatrical activity in Haskovo is set in the period between 1879 and 1882 by Anton Popov,  who played an exceptional role not only in the theater history of Haskovo, but in national theater history as well. The professional theater activity in Haskovo has existed since 1921, while the theater building was built as far back as 1926. It is named after Ivan Dimov – one of our best drama and cinema actors who was an actor and a director in the town theatre.
The fame of “Ivan Dimov” theater is connected to the work of many prominent theatrical figures -  Georgi Stamatov, Vyara Delcheva, Ivan Kondov, Veli Chaushev, Georgi Cherkelov, Nikola Todev, Anna Kendalova, Vasil Mihailov, Asen Shopov, Ivan Dobchev, Mariana Krumova, Stefan Yankov, , Georgi Nalbantov, Zlatina Todeva, Penko Penkov, Ivan Chaushev, Atanas Dimitrov, Deyan Machev and others. Some of the most prominent  performers  of puppet and drama theatre work here today. Many young talented actors participate in the performances and their lively acting provokes the audience and sharpens its sense of experiment in this kind of art.


The Regional Historical Museum

The museum treasures more than 120 000 monuments of cultural and historical heritage. Unique pre-historic, antique and medieval artifacts made of ceramics, stone, iron and glass form part of the rich exposition of the museum – tools, jewels, idols, household artifacts and artistic objects. The visitors' attention is attracted by the rich collection of antique and medieval coins, more than 22 000 in number. The ethnographic collection of farming and crafts tools, copper utensils, jewelry and clothing items, samples of folk art and the town's life-style are among the merits of the museum. Part of the valuable cultural heritage, which is preserved and exhibited in the museum, is the collection of weapons, icons and educational and ecclesiastical objects and objects connected with the struggle of the Bulgarian people for national liberation. The significant stock of old photographs of the town of Haskovo reveal the town's diverse development and construction. The art collection of paintings, graphics and sculptures, many of which are from famous Bulgarian artists, plays an equally important role in the history of the town.

The Museum of Thracian Art

This Museum is constructed near the village of Alexandrovo with the help of a grant by the Japanese government cultural program. It was officially opened on 15 May 2009 by Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino.
The permanent exhibition in the Museum provides information about the nearby recently discovered tomb dating from the IV century BC in the context of the Thracian culture during its heyday V-th – II-nd century BC. The Thracian heritage in the region  is represented by  monuments of culture dating from the late Iron Age (VI-th – I-st centuries BC.). The most remarkable archaeological sites in the Eastern Rhodopes, Sakar Mountain and the valley of the Maritsa River can be seen here.


Art Gallery “Atanas Sharenkov”

The gallery was founded in the 60-ties of the XX-th century as part of the Historical Museum. It has more than 1 600 works of art: paintings, prints and sculpture. Famous Bulgarian masters classics are presented in the collection - Stoyan Venev, Dechko Uzunov, Zlatyu Boyadjiev Nenko Balkanski, Alexander Poplilov, Nikola Marinov, Ilya Petrov. The works of the most prominent contemporary Bulgarian artists can be seen here -: Svetlin Rusev, Dimitar Kirov, Theophan Sotirov and local  painters Dimitar Ivanov and Peter Tolchev. For three years  now the gallery owns a large donation from Dr. Vradzhaliev of one  hundred works by some of our classics.

Forum Gallery

The gallery is adjacent to the theater and has 130 sq m exhibition area. The ground floor has a separate bazaar – the permanent office of the Society of Haskovo artists. The hall on the ground floor houses exhibitions of works of local and foreign artists. Here are exhibited works of authors like  Vejdi Rashidov, Georgi Trifonov, Luben Dimanov, George Papazov, Christo Javacheff – Cristo, Svetlin Russev, Nikolay Yanakiev, Vladimir Chukich and artists related to Haskovo as Yanaki Kavrakov, Rumen Gargov, Dima Petrova, Simeon Todev, Todor Ovcharov ,Ivan Paraskov, Ivan Chaushev and many other members of the Society of Haskovo artists.

The Regional Library “Hristo Smirnenski”

The biggest cultural information institution in Haskovo was established in 1953. Today the library has 2 halls for free access and book borrowing, 5 reading halls, 7 book depositories and other facilities. The library stock is 395 thousand volumes. Annually 192 500 books are borrowed, the readers are 6570, and the  visits to various sectors of the library  - 78 thousand.  All departments work towards s more actively link  with thier readers, they have become  the information mediators  between readers  and the literary wealth.


The Community Center “Zora”

The community center is one of the first established in Bulgaria and has a leading role in intellectual and social life of Haskovo. The first theatre performances were staged here, the first societies were founded – the theatre club, the literary club, the orchestra, the choir, even a community university. Its library has accumulated enormous wealth of book-stock that now exceeds 118 thousand volumes. For more than 50 years of children's interest groups in the community center have been working to enhance the aesthetic awareness and increase the knowledge of young people.

Youthe Center

Its activity is focused on socialization and education of children and young people to provide interesting activities for their leisure time. Here children of Haskovo gain more knowledge about history and ethnography, physics, astronomy, aeronautics, mathematics and other studies. The groups that function  in the center are  the Theatre Studio , the Children's Music School for piano, synthesizer and folk singing,  The Children's Choir "Orpheus", Children's Vocal Group "Orfeyche" the Choir "Nocturne", the Ballet group "Tangra", the Dance Sport Club "Grand", the  Children's Dance Ensemble "Yuzhnyache",  rock bands. Football, athletics, basketball, volleyball, hiking are just some of the sport activities practiced here. The center provides opportunity for the organization of different sports groups.


Culture and Sports Center “Spartak”

The rich cultural and sports life of the town is facilitated by the stage of the Cultural and Sports Center “Spartak”. This unique open-air complex, arranged in tiers, seats 3500 people and has a covered stage space of 300 sq.m..It provides opportunities to satisfy the tastes of the audience for different entertainment and sporting events. Аn ice-rinк with 600 sq.m. is constructed in front of the stage of the Cultural and Sports Center. It is open in the winter months and is very attractive to visitors. The ice rink offers opportunities to 200 volunteers to acquire skills under the supervision of qualified instructors. This is also the venue for the training sessions of the boys' hockey team in Haskovo.

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